Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing another lawsuit over nursing home deaths in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the plaintiff alleging that Cuomo’s pride and 'unmitigated greed' had led to needless deaths.
The lawsuit alleges that Cuomo and other top officials had exhibited 'deliberate indifference' toward nursing home residents and caused 15,000 avoidable COVID-19 deaths,' the New York Post reports.
The lawsuit was filed by Sean Newman in a Brooklyn federal district court. Newman is married to Janice Dean, who works for Fox News Channel as a senior meteorologist. Newman’s parents died in early 2020 at nursing homes in the state amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cuomo was at the center of an ongoing scandal over the state’s handling of nursing homes at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The controversy focused on a state order that required nursing homes to receive patients who had been treated for COVID-19.
The policy was later rescinded, but that emerged again in 2021 when Attorney General Letitia James announced that the death toll had been undercounted by as much as 50%. Cuomo would later resign over unrelated sexual misconduct allegations.
The new lawsuit alleges: 'It was not only Governor Cuomo’s pride that was leading to thousands of needless deaths, but his unmitigated greed as well.'
Specifically, Newman alleges that the former governor 'tailored his policies and actions to generate material' for a $5 million book deal, according to the Post. That book 'American Crisis' would highlight 'leadership lessons' from the pandemic and appeared as many in the media were making comparisons between Cuomo’s leadership during the pandemic and then-President Donald Trump’s.
It is the second such lawsuit that the former governor is facing over the state’s nursing home policy.
Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi called the lawsuit 'meritless.'
'It’s unfortunate that people’s pain continues to be politicized and weaponized in order to distort the truth, which is that the DOJ, the AG, the Manhattan DA and the Assembly all critically examined this and found no there there,' he said. 'This suit is meritless, and we expect any fair hearing in a court of law will also bear this out.'
He added that the allegations regarding the book are 'false, wrong and the product of the furthest depths of right-wing paranoia.'